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Horseshoe Crab Quota Distribution Plan

New York's commercial quota for horseshoe crabs is 150,000 crabs. This is the same commercial quota allowance for horseshoe crabs that the state has implemented since 2009. The following table provides a summary of the quota distribution plan. The intent of this plan is to fully utilize the available horseshoe crab quota for the maximum benefit of New York's commercial fishing industry, while remaining within the limits of the state quota allocation.

2020 Horseshoe Crab Quota Distribution Plan
Period Dates % Quota Quota (Crabs) Initial Harvest Limit
1 Jan 1 - Apr 15 4% 6,000 30
2 Apr 16 - Aug 31 92% 138,000 150
2-closed May 20 - May 24 closed 0 closed
2-closed June 3 - June 7 closed 0 closed
3 Sept 1 - Nov 30 4% 6,000 250
4 Dec 1 - Dec 31 To Be Determined To Be Determined To Be Determined

Provisions of the Quota Distribution Plan:

  • Harvest limits are used to spread the quota allocation over each period and to avoid fishery closures if possible.
  • Overharvest/underharvest from Period 1 and Period 2 will be deducted from or added to the next period.
  • If there is quota remaining at the end of Period 3, the remaining quota may be released in Period 4. Initial harvest limits for Period 4 will be determined by the amount of available quota remaining.
  • DEC may adjust harvest limits or this quota distribution plan to ensure maximum utilization of the horseshoe crab resource and to prevent the state commercial quota from being exceeded. If DEC determines through reported landings or low reporting compliance that the quota allowance for any given period may be exceeded, DEC may temporarily close the fishery for commercial harvest.

Check the Commercial Fishing Limits webpage for updated harvest limits and fishery status information for the commercial horseshoe crab fishery and other quota managed species in New York. For more information on lobsters, crabs and whelk, visit the Commercial Limits for Lobsters, Crabs & Whelk page.

Keep track of weekly commercial landings by clicking on the "GARFO Weekly Landings" link in the right hand column of this page. The link will bring you to NOAA Greater Atlantic Fisheries Office (GARFO) website where they keep track of weekly records on quota and landing reports for managed species in each state along the Atlantic Coast.

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